Writing is by this blog author and may be considered an argumentative essay for literary purposes.
I have ties to this beautiful land, this commonwealth of the United States of America.
I have been there about 12 times in the last 16 years.
I have seen over the many years of travel just how proud and dignified a people the Puerto Ricans are. They have every right to be. Most of them have indigenous roots in the Taino Indian and in their Spanish and Italian forefathers and mothers who traveled by ship long ago to this “rich port” to do the very same thing our American ancestors travelled across the oceans to be able to do: establish for themselves a new home, land and livelihood they could call their own; a land where they could worship their God without fail.
The people who have lived here for generations on end have carried on traditions of cultivating the soil to grow copious amounts of precious fruits and vegetables and plant trees that produce bountiful food such as arugula, avocados, bananas, basil, breadfruit, cabbage, cantaloupes, carambola, carrots, celery, cilantro, coconut, corn, eggplant, ginger, grapefruit, green beans in the pod, green pepper, guava, honeydew melon, lettuce, lima beans, limes, longan, lychee, mangoes, mangosteen, onions, oranges, papaya, peppers, pineapple, plantains, potatoes, pumpkin, quenepas, star fruit, sugar cane, tangerines, tomatoes, and watermelon.
My extended family had a lemon tree, a banana tree, and different kinds of plum trees right in their backyard, as well as guavas, papayas and coconuts. They could have actually lived off the land if they would have wanted to. And many of the people in Puerto Rico do indeed live off the land…did, did live off the land. The land that has been ravaged not once, but twice, in so many weeks. The second time was the knockout punch.
So, tell me again, how are these people, and there are so many of them, how are these people supposed to help themselves now?
Before any of the disasters, the people of Puerto Rico were a thriving island with numerous industries and small locally owned businesses from one end to the other.
We had actually driven from one end of the island to the other, and from sea level up to the highest mountain peak driveable. We saw the small thriving businesses, the homes, the farms, the industries, the scores of hotels, the throngs of timeshares, neighborhood stores and grocers, churches and parishes, rainforests, local ocean parks and the many roadside broilers of meats, homemade foods and wares…who are not there any more because they lost everything in the storms.
And we expect them to rebuild and fix up and live and thrive, on what?
On 16% power.
For those in power, for those who have power, let them take notice, take swift action and help Puerto Rico while it is not feasible for Puerto Rico to help itself. And with this support, the indigenous peoples of Puerto Rico can once again someday live off the land they have known, cultivated, and loved for so many generations.